Skip to main content Skip to main menu

Bishop William O'Higgins Bronze Sculpture


Bishop William O’Higgins was born in Drumlish in 1794 and was a leading church figure in a tumultuous time in Irish and church history.  He was Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise from 1829 to 1853.  He was born at Barraghbeg in 1794, and whose life spanned some of the most turbulent times of our history including the famine. 

A supporter of Irish Nationalism and Catholic emancipation in Ireland, O'Higgins gaelicised his surname, adding the O in recognition of his friend Daniel O'Connell.   Bishop O'Higgins conceived the idea for, and laid the foundation stone in 1840 (from the ruins of St. Mel’s old Cathedral at Ardagh), for St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford Town in the presence of 40,000 people.  

The Bishop O'Higgins statue sculpted by well known artist Dony McManus was unveiled in September 2020 and a proper dedication ceremony took place in August 2021. Bishops of Ardagh & Clonmacnois Francis Duffy and Colm O’Reilly attended the ceremony and officially dedicated the sculpture of Bishop O'Higgins outside the Drumlish Parish church.

We are here 


This project was assisted by Longford Local Community Development Committee, Longford Community Resources Clg. and Longford County Council through the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020 which is part-financed by the EU, "The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas" and the Department of Rural & Community Development.       The European Commission.

Back to Top